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Sunday the Friends of the Library honored the Board members of the Community Center because they donated the building and land to the library for our new library.

The Community Center Board Membes

Tevis Laspa spoke about his experience with moving to Ridgefield and learning about the library. I thought many of you would be interested in hearing his story as it tells how the library came to be. Here’s what he said:

“ I moved to Ridgefield in 1983. My first experience with the Ridgefield Community Club Association was when I was looking for a loce location to recycle cans, bottles, newspapers, etc. I found a group that recycled out of an old wooden structure off of Main Street. They were using the money from recycling as a way to buy this property and building. Their dream was to create a new community center for our town of 1400 people. Vida Piquets agreed to sell the property for use as a community center for $60,000. It took seven long years to raise that money. The tools they used were pancake breakfasts, community dinners, rummage sales, and a buy-a-brick campaign.

In 1998 the RCCA receive a community development block grant to remodel/reconstruct the building. The building had structural problems, so the decision was made to demolish and rebuild the building. Partnering with the Fort Vancouver Regional Library helped generate more funds to construct Phase 1, which included the bathrooms, library and small meeting room.

The building was completed in 1994 at a cost of $258,000.

Move forward to 1996 when Lockett Construction built Phase 2, charging only for the cost of materials. The Ridgefield Lions donated the big kitchen equipment and metal roof and the Community Center as we know it today was complete.

The work did not stop there. The revenue from operations was not enough to pay the annual insurance, property taxes and maintenance cost. Queen Allene (Wodaege) created an annual or semiannual dinner event including auctions that brought in the funds necessary to operate the Community Center.

The RCCA Board has been working together for over 34 years.”

And now for more good news: the Library has leased the former Umpqua Bank building as their temporary home while the new library is being constructed. The building is being remodeled to make good use of the space. It’s about the same size as the existing library.

Tomorrow Amelia Shelley, Executive Director of the Fort Vancouver Regional Library will be at the Community Center passing out plans of the current library and the new space we will spread into. We hope everyone will take one and sketch out the things you would like to see in the new library. This will be the first of several community meetings where you will have a chance to make your wishes known. If you can’t pick one up at the library there will be copies at the library.

 

Comments

  1. Sandy Schill says

    I am so sorry to see the Community Center go away. It is such an inspiring story of how this Community works together to achieve a goal. There is no replacement to the large room where so many fundraisers have been held. Thanks to all that worked so hard to build the center and to those that ran it while we had it.

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